Defeated Jelena Dokic, 7-6, 6-0
Q. Serena, what led to the slow start?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I was just making too many errors and I wasn't attacking my shots, letting her dictate play. I made way too many mistakes for no reason. That led to a slow start.
Q. Did it kind of click into focus more?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think -- I mean, I started cutting back on the errors. That's it. I didn't really play exceptionally well.
Q. Did you see she had a bad ankle?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I knew she had a problem. I didn't know what her problem was.
Q. Serena, talk about the tie breaker. You played pretty well there with no forced errors.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it's always my goal to get out to a quick start. That way I can dictate play with my serve. Even if I'm not serving well, a tie breaker is tough for me to lose.
Q. You started to change sides at 3-0. Is that just an indication how focused you were?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I figured I hit an ace. I don't know what I was thinking. I don't know. I was just gone.
Q. Is it unfair to the rest of the field to bring out the catsuit midway through the tournament? Do you think that's sort of intimidating to the rest of the field?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely not. Definitely not.
Q. Was it hard to get your rhythm tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was. I think I was hitting a few spray balls. I don't know. It's over and done. I'm now trying to focus on my next match.
Q. One more question on the catsuit. What's your record in the catsuit now. Pretty good, isn't it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: 5 and 0. I wore it maybe four times at the Open. I haven't worn it since the Open. I wore the Pink Panther outfit sometimes at the Open. The catsuit only appeared four times.
Q. You didn't break it out in Japan?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it wasn't spotted in Japan or Germany.
Q. How is it playing in LA, fairly close to where you grew up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's great, and it's a little stressful, because all your family and friends and everyone you know is here. It's great, but I don't know. I have a lot of support here, which is different. Normally the crowd roots for the underdog.
Q. You are able to block that out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely.
Q. You gave yourself a C- against Smashnova. What do you give yourself tonight?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't pass tonight, unfortunately.
Q. How does it feel to have so many supporters? How does that feel?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely feels good to have so many people supporting you and it's like, yes, because I grew up here, and it's been a long way coming, and I'm finally on the top of the mountain. It's just, they're here. It's like they've seen me grow, not literally but figuratively from the papers and actually being from here. It's really great. I always try to play the other tournament here.
Q. Serena, can you talk about Jennifer a little bit? What was the reason for the turnaround?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think the main turnaround was I was tired. I lost to her so many times. After you lose to someone so many times, you just get tired. I think that was the main turnaround point for me. I just wanted to at least win once.
Q. You talked about playing in Southern California. Of course, the next big tournament here is, you know what, in Indian Wells. Any chance that you would reconsider and play this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's more Eastern California. I'm from Southern California. That's not really my home town at all, as you can tell.
Q. Seriously, would you reconsider about possibly playing there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I would like to play where people like to see me play. People like to see me play in LA. I did have a couple fans out there, but I think the vast majority of them didn't like me out there. I'm an entertainer and I don't want to entertain if they don't want to be entertained.
Q. Serena, would you consider Jennifer to be your greatest rival?
SERENA WILLIAMS: For sure, because we always have great matches and we always bring out the best in each other. I would definitely say hands-down she probably is one of my biggest rivals out there.
Q. Serena, would you have handled being down 4-1 the first set the same way two years ago or a year ago as this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was down 4-1?
Q. Sorry, first set way down?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have always been able to handle being down. I've never given up. I've always been a fighter and kept going. I never said, gosh, what am I going to do or whined and complained.
Q. Do you consider yourself sometimes a slow starter and, therefore, not really loaded with confidence if you're down in the beginning?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't consider myself a slow starter. I actually consider myself a fast-pace runner, and I have to normally keep pace rather than starting out so fast and losing it. I consider myself more that type of person. I pace myself now. I let other people get ahead and quickly come and pants them.
Q. How much is a factor of all the success you have had this year in terms of your confidence and your feeling on the court that in the end you will prevail? Does that give you a kind of advantage you didn't have before?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It does. If I'm down or if yeah, I think it is, if I'm down I say, okay, Serena, you won the French Open and Wimbledon, you're a better player than this. I get confidence and draw energy from that. There is some people maybe they don't have that, maybe they have other things they can draw confidence on. Even before I won the Grand Slams, I would say, okay, Serena, you're a better person than that.
Q. Conversely, do you think that affects your opponents as well?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wouldn't know.
Q. Serena, a lot of players talk about how tired they are at the year-end tournament. You played a much more limited schedule than a lot of these players. How do you feel?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel great. I'm not tired. I'm just getting started. I was tired after Tokyo and Germany. I was really fatigued. It was -- both of my phones are going off at the same time right now. They're both vibrating. I was really fatigued and I had to take a break after that. I think I would have been crazy. Now I'm ready. Sometimes I think the tournament schedule is a little too hectic, one after another, after another, after another, and you have this big tournament here that you want to do well. If you don't have the energy, it's kind of hard. I had to take a break. I don't know. It's tough. Life's tough. You have to go out there and keep playing.
Q. Does this tournament feel like a Super Bowl, big championship?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not quite the Super Bowl.
Q. More like an All Star Game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it's definitely -- maybe like a -- I don't know. It's only the top 16, so it's not like you can start out slow or else you will get out of turn.
Q. Monica said the other day that she can envision this tournament catching on and being successful in LA. Can you comment on that? Do you see it building momentum over the next couple of years?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I hope it does. People in LA are pretty much`Hollywood. I think it will. Even now the crowd is getting better and bigger. I think it will be successful, but no one knows what the future holds. I hope so. I like playing here. I love being here. Who knows?
Q. Serena, has it been kind of -- how well do you feel like you're playing? Do you feel tomorrow if Jennifer pushes you, your A game will come if necessary?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I hope. We're all tired. It's the end of the year. The thing is, with me, I hate to lose. If she pushes me, I'm going to pick up my game no matter what. It's like, I can't -- no matter what, I can't just stop. I always keep going. I want better for myself and I want to win.
Q. You said you like to play in front of crowds that love you. What venue do you think loves you the most?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Toronto, anywhere in Canada, Montreal, LA. Of course, South Carolina. I got a ton of support there. It was actually eerie it was so much.
Q. Did you not play there one year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I played there the first time this year.
Q. If you like LA so much, why don't you move back? Are you thinking about it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Thinking about it. State taxes.
Q. Speaking of your father, I think it's time either him or your mother get the coach of the year award.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, but -- that would be great, but I think -- I don't think there is an award like that, but they would have definitely had it if there was.
End of FastScriptsÖ.
townsend ◊ rezaÔ ◊ lisicki ◊ vesnina
keys ◊ mladenovic ◊ siniakova ◊ jankovic